persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \ pər-ˈsi-stənt, -ˈzi-\

Definition of persistent

1 : existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: such as
a : retained beyond the usual period a persistent leaf
b : continuing without change in function or structure persistent gills
c : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent
d : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides
e : remaining infective for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses
2a : continuing or inclined to persist in a course
b : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

Examples of persistent in a Sentence

Contrary to persistent myth, Hoover was an activist. — Steve Forbes, Forbes, 30 June 2008 The high-water mark of such truckling might be the publication of the Cato Institute report "America's Record Trade Deficit: A Symbol of Strength." Freedom had become slavery; persistent deficits had become economic power. — Eric Janszen, Harper's, February 2008 The silence started from your end just about the time you said good-bye to dear St. Elizabeth and it has been constant and persistent ever since. — Archibald Macleish, letter, 11 July 1959 We were nagged by a persistent salesman. He is one of the government's most persistent critics. She has been persistent in pursuing the job. He has been fighting a persistent cold. Flooding has been a persistent problem in the area this year. Persistent rumors that the business is for sale have alarmed the staff.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Of all the health myths in the world, the idea that there is a silver bullet for weight loss may be among the most persistent and pernicious. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Things You Need To Know About Using Laxatives For Weight Loss," 2 Jan. 2019 Wages are rising, but so is inflation Sluggish income growth remains one of the most persistent problems in the US economy, which is otherwise doing quite well. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The GOP tax bill only gave workers 2 cents more per hour in bonuses," 18 Dec. 2018 However, about 60% of the increase was due to the gasoline component of the index, which led analysts to question how persistent the effects of October’s 0.6% seasonally adjusted rise in the index would be. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Treasurys Gain in the Wake of U.S. Elections Results," 9 Nov. 2018 This sort of problem has been persistent since the passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, a policy that first threw money at state and local governments to avoid another sort of voting issue (the legendary, dreaded hanging chad). Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The ugly truth about voting security: States won’t fix it," 6 Nov. 2018 Heading into the 2018 summer transfer window, Liverpool fans have been persistent in their calls for a new goalkeeper following the shambolic showing in Kiev. SI.com, "Why Liverpool Need to Forget Signing a New Keeper & Stick With Loris Karius," 10 July 2018 Keep an open mind, be persistent and always maintain a positive outlook with your clients. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "How to Thrive in the Freelance Economy," 25 June 2018 Hundreds of hours of volunteering at their schools so the teachers wouldn’t hold our financial situation or persistent lack of a positive male influence against my kids. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, "I Raised Four Sons as a Single Mom. Now That They're Grown, I'm Off to Europe.," 17 Dec. 2018 Gillum has polled strongly, with a slim but persistent lead. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The 13 most important governor elections in 2018, briefly explained," 15 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persistent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of persistent

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persistent

Latin persistent-, persistens, present participle of persistere — see persist

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for persistent

The first known use of persistent was in 1826

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More Definitions for persistent

persistent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of persistent

: continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop

: continuing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time : not stopping or going away

persistent

adjective
per·​sist·​ent | \ pər-ˈsi-stənt \

Kids Definition of persistent

: continuing to act or exist longer than usual a persistent cold

Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \ -tənt \

Medical Definition of persistent

1 : existing or continuing for a long time: as
a : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent
b : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides
c : remaining infective for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses
2 : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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